Nadine Landry & Stephen "Sammy" Lind

Honest Old Time, Country and Cajun Music

   

SUMMER’S IN FULL SWING

Hi there folks!  It’s been an amazing few months on the road playing festivals and visiting friends and family. After wonderful Foghorn Stringband tours on the east coast and Montana, complete with a family visit to Quebec snuck in there to boot, we started out the summer at the Sacajawea Bluegrass Festival and Dutch Oven Rendezvous  in Pasco, WA at the convergence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers. It’s the second time we’ve played there and we hope to come back. The food made by folks in the cook-off was incredible and thanks to Nancy for her wonderful dessert! Those folks of the Tri-Cities love their bluegrass and old time music!

 

Next up was Weiser! It’s famous for being the National Old Time Fiddle Championship that’s held the third week of June every year, but known more to us as an excuse to hang out for a week in the desert with friends with no agenda whatsoever other than to play tunes and have a great time. Once again our housemate Huck Notari carted out his cool piano that fits just right in the back of the van.  Always an awesome addition to any session. Anything goes at Weiser and we leave every year saying, “Yep! Best Weiser ever!!”

After breaking down in Caleb’s van on the home, we made it back to Portland just in time to make our flight to Alaska. We thought for a minute there we would miss it, but we were lucky enough to get towed and helped back on the road by an off-the-clock mechanic. We just had to wait for him to go watch his kids’ baseball games, but by 10pm we were on the road!  Thanks Mike!

As it may seem clear judging from our travel history over the years, we look for any reason to spend time in Alaska. It’s where we met after all, some of our closest friends are there, and a Solstice party on the 61st parallel, complete with a full moon, sounds like as good of reason as any! This time we went up to meet up with our buddies Jay Marvin, Nate Williamson, and Scotty Meyer. The band was called “Dem Doze Der”. Since Jay, Scotty and I are all from dem doze der midwestern states, the name seemed to fit… We’d all known each other for 10 years or so and played a lot together, just not all at once! But we knew it’d be a great band, switching between old time and cajun music for some gigs in McCarthy and Hope. Two places completely off the beaten path. Thanks a million to Mike and Karen Loso for igniting the spark last October to get the whole thing going.  It was an unforgettable couple of weeks. Can’t wait to go back in December!!

We flew on a red-eye back to Portland and rented a car and headed straight to Port Townsend, WA to sneak in about 36 hours of the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes. We were kindly greeted by our friends and bandmates Jesse Legé and Joel and Kelli Savoy and pretty much immediately fired up some tunes. I was especially pumped because my new accordion up in the key of F (Foxy, the F-Boxy) made by Joel’s dad, Marc Savoy, was done and I got to hear Jesse break it in all night and play double fiddles with Joel, occasionally playing a tune on it myself. Still a long way to go though!!

From Fiddle Tunes we headed to Orcas Island, WA for a couple Foghorn gigs. It’s always a blast to hang out where Caleb grew up! Thanks to the Island Hoppin’ Brewery for making it happen!

Up next was a sweet, long weekend in Colorado playing a couple festivals with Foghorn. The first was the Rocky Mountain Old Time Festival near Lyons and next up was the High Mountain Hay Fever Festival in Westcliffe. We met up with so many old friends and made a lot of new ones.  Colorado is an amazing place!

From Colorado we headed straight to northern Wisconsin for a wonderful week with my family and then on to the Gaspé Peninsula in eastern Quebec for a week with Nadine’s. We always look forward to chiming in with Nadine’s grandma’s fiddling and mom’s strong piano back-up, and to eating tons of lobster….

The Foghorn Stringband played the amazing Festival Mémoire et Racines last weekend in Joliette, Quebec. We are so excited to make the bond between Foghorn and Quebec stronger! I remember meeting Le Vent du Nord in Denmark
years ago and as well as André Brunet in Portland after he replaced Johnny Cunningham in the Celtic Fiddle Festival
and later Genticorum in Montreal when I started coming there. There’s a huge connection between our musics and of course a huge connection since Nadine is Québécois.  We look forward to many more visits.

We went back to Portland the next week and welcomed Ginny Hawker and Tracy Schwarz to town and backed them up at Pickathon. This was an amazing honor for us, as we’ve been huge fans since we started playing this music.  We all met and jammed at in Louisiana about 4 years ago and have kept in touch ever since and are anxiously awaiting getting to back them up on stage. Yee hoo!! We also played a set and the most epic square dance ever with Foghorn. It’s a sight to behold.  Around 1,000 dancers under psychedelic lights on a hill!!

We’ll spend a lot of August in British Columbia as well as some festivals with Foghorn in Wyoming and New Mexico. In September, we are extremely excited to doing a week tour with Jesse Legé and Joel Savoy up in the Northwest. It’s been too long since we had a tour together with these guys and we’re absolutely stoked!! Then off to the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention to tear it up with our old pal Dirk Powell. Can’t beat that!  Check out Foghorn‘s website for updates!

We always feel fortunate to find the perfect balance between making music on and off the stage. Spending time with friends, family, and getting to hear and see so much live music always proves to be the best inspiration. Hope to meet up with you and have a tune sometime soon!!

THE FIDDLE TRAIN!!!

(written on Friday March 15th, 2013)

Hi there friends! We’re here just south of Anchorage on a snowy Friday morning cooking away for a Cuban feast tonight in town that will be followed by a house concert. We’ve been up here almost two weeks and it’s sure going to be hard to leave tomorrow. This is an amazing place filled with fantastic people and the ever-humbling awesomeness of nature is always nearby.

View from the train!

View from the train!

Kari, Meg and Boone on the train!

Kari, Meg and Boone on the train!

 

We flew up here to take part of something Alaskan’s know how to do best- yep, a PARTY!! This one is called the Fiddle Train. We’ve heard about it for years and just couldn’t miss it this year. Once a month in the wintertime there is a whistle-stop train called the Hurricane Whistlestop that runs from Anchorage up to the Hurricane Gulch and back and you can get off anywhere along the way you want. We, along with around 15 Alaskan buddies boarded in Anchorage with our instruments, skis, libations and road the rails N (playing the whole way of course!!) to the Gulch…

Hurricane Gulch

Hurricane Gulch

… and back down to a B&B just N of Talkeetna, owned by Thomas and Hobbs, long-time acquaintances of our Fiddle Train pals. We spent the next three days skiing the most amazing trails, playing tunes and songs and eating and cooking and having the occasional beverage ( and Jell-O shot ! ). On the Saturday night, a heavy snowfall hit the B&B, gigantic snowflakes dancing above our heads, the biggest I had ever seen! To celebrate Hobbs’ birthday, we all went outside and launched a dozen or so paper lanterns in the sky, what a sight!

Weebee rocking out!

Weebee rocking out!

Paper lantern ready to be launched!

Paper lantern ready to be launched!

All things have to come to end, but this weekend was far from over! On Sunday in the late afternoon we all piled our belongings at the bottom of the hill beside the tracks and waited for the Whistlestop to round the bend on its way back S and it blow its whistle and come to a stop and pick us up.

Skis by the cabin

Skis by the cabin

Baby chariots covered in snow!

Baby chariots covered in snow!

Fresh snow

Fresh snow

 

Double hole outhouse!

Double hole outhouse!

 

Three Fiddle Train rookies. See our engineer hats?

Three Fiddle Train rookies. See our engineer hats?

Jeff and Duna

Jeff and Duna

 

We boarded and enjoyed another couple of hours of tunes and hilarious times. The others on the train probably thought aliens jumped aboard, but then again, as we’ve always said, “anything goes in Alaska!!!” Thanks so much everybody for the great times!

Thanks Tom and Hobbs for a great weekend!

Thanks Tom and Hobbs for a great weekend!

On the train on the way back!

On the train on the way back!

 

Danny C shreddin'!

Danny C shreddin’!

*Check out what we’ve been up to with Foghorn (foghornstringband.com) What a winter it’s been!! See you on the east coast?

 

 

BACK TO WINTER!

Hi folks! Well after a couple of weeks back in the Northwest we find ourselves driving down Interstate 81 with Riley Baugus on the way to Knoxville, TN to play in the Dirk Powell band. These guys have been great friends and occasional bandmates for over a decade now and we always look forward to playing and hanging out together when we can. We will play on February 8 in Knoxville and the 9th in Boone, NC.

We will then head back to the Midwest to start a tour with the Foghorn Stringband .

We’ve spent the last two weeks there with family, skiing, hanging out with The Cactus Blossoms and even got to play a square dance with my dad on mandolin, my brother Eric on banjo and Adam Kiesling on bass! We’re so excited to come back to Minneapolis at the end of the month.

FAREWELL UNTIL NEXT TIME

January 8

I just spent my first ever snowless Christmas! I didn’t see snowmen with carrot noses and coal eyes, I didn’t have to wear 6 layers of clothing to go outside nor scratched the ice build-up on the window sills. But we did eat turkey and ham and stuffed ourselves like the Christmases I’m used to! We did spend the holidays surrounded by friends we love, the clinging of the glasses lost in the sound of laughter.

The odometer of the car now proudly displays over 10 000 kms. Australia is huge and its people are amazing!

When we left off in the last blog, we were in Bellingen with our friends Scott and Jay and their boys Ilo and Po. They took us to a swimming hole for the afternoon before our gig at 5 Church Street. Thanks to the whole staff for a great gig and to Jay for the great photos! Before we left for Brisbane, we got a chance to see Scott’s band Midnorth play at the massive market on Saturday morning.

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Request for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!

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Brisbane Music Bureau held its concert at the Bowling Club! So hilarious that Bowling seems to be super popular amongst the younger crowd! Thanks to The Company for offering support and congrats on your new record!

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The next day, we drove a few hours south to Barkers Vale, a tiny little village in the north of New South Wales. I had been in touch with Gareth, who had invited us on the family property for workshops, dinner and concert. Turned out to be an amazing day! After a fiddle and harmony workshops with really nice folks, a crowded started coming from the main entrance, 200 in total. We got to eat a vegetarian jambalaya, green salad and roasted potatoes beautifully cooked by Gareth’s mom and all originating from the massive 5 acre garden. Then people sat on hay bales and rugs around the outside improvised stage consisting of an old caravan, a trapeze and a white canvas with yellow stars on the ground. The Pitts Family Circus (aka Gareth and his family) started the show with hilarious antics, contortionist, trapeze artists, it was amazing! Then Ruthie-ma-Toothie and the Barkersvale Brothers played and we finished the show! Thanks everyone for a great day and night!

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Then we really treated ourselves!! We rented a little cabin just south of Byron Bay in Suffolk Park just a few streets from the beach. We spent three days going to the beach, cooked good food, relaxed, it was well needed and exactly what the doctor ordered.

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After our rest, we headed to Lismore to play the Hillbilly Christmas party with Ruthie-ma-Toothie and the Barkers Vale Brothers at the Bowling Club! Great evening. Here’s a little story from that night:

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“I sold my cowboy boots tonight. A lady walked up to me and asked very shyly where I had gotten my boots. I told her in the States. She revealed that she had been looking for that kind of boots for a long time but couldn’t find them anywhere. Thinking fast on how I had just gotten those boots recently and how I liked them, I also admitted to myself that, despite my desire and hope that they would be fitting like slippers soon, the boots would hurt forever. The top of my foot will never stop from getting numb, ever. So I told the lady I’d sell them to her. Her face brightened and she asked to make sure I was serious. By that time, I was 100% sure I wanted to sell them to her. When I inquired about her shoe size, I got pleasantly surprised to hear it was the same as me. We improvised a little try on session and yes, they fit her. She went to the ATM machine, I exchanged my footwear for bills and she hugged me and thanked me and then held the boots in her arms for the rest of the night, probably cursing herself for wearing cute shoes with no socks, therefore not being able to wear the boots right away. Diane, I sure hope they fit you! I hope you go dancing and give them a good life.”

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Our travels continued, a long 10 hour drive to Sydney to visit our friends Jacinta and Terry. We went to see a show, Spurs for Jesus, then went back to their house and had a nice jam with Oh Willy Dear! Next day was a workshop and a concert in Thirroul at the Railway Hall. We got to see Shiny Top Strings and The Butcher Boys, good times! That was December 22nd and we officially started our Christmas Holidays! Nothing like a 10 hour drive to start off, direction Melbourne to see our friends Ian and Linda. Good times catching up since we had not seen them in almost a month! Next night, a surprise gig at Claypots with special guest Craig. Random drunk Christmas orphans came and went, danced a little and hollered, really fun night! Stayed late at Claypots for a night cap and a video chat with Suzy’s family in Ireland. Even danced and sang to “Be Nobody’s Darling But Mine”, kindly requested by Brendan Sr! Christmas morning, we slept in late, then went to Chris’ for brunch and bubbly then on to the next party. Great food and company!

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We left Suzy the next day with the promise she would come visit us in Blackwood! Got there and yes, it was happiness. I cooked on the woodstove the next few days (a Rayburn stove, a wood stove that heats the stove top, oven and the water that goes in the radiators around the house. Perfect, but kind of hard to regulate the heat with its several valves and openings and what not, but a few more weeks I would have mastered it I’m sure! The sticky date pudding turned out great, even though it cooked for 2 more hours than the recipe called for!) So we cooked a storm, played tunes, ate some more, went hiking, went fishing, Sammy even went kangaroo hunting, bringing some meat back for New Year’s party! A friend made a delicious curry and I made my aunt Rolande’s Tataki sauce on the thinly sliced seared roo. What a feast! Suzy did come visit, great to see the lassie out of the city! Thanks to Nick, Janet, Lachlan, Nicola and the whole Blackwood crew for opening their arms, doors and kitchen to us!

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All good things come to an end, but in our case it always mean more good things ahead. We packed the car and headed to the Melbourne ferry terminal direction Tasmania. Yep, here we are in this island off Australia, cooking gumbo and doing house concerts, meeting new friends and even seeing an old Yukon friend! Thanks to Roger for organizing a few gigs for us. We spent our last night in Port Sorell with new friends Cathy and David, transplants from Tennessee and Montana respectively. They took us to the beach after dusk to see penguins! The moms or dads (they take turn!) get on the shore and into the bushes to feed their babies (babies stay in the bushes, sleep all day until they are big enough). The parents gorge themselves all day then get attacked by their kids, climbing into their parents’ mouth to get the food. It was hilarious, the bushes were screaming and moving!!! The next day, what better to do than getting our own oysters for lunch? Can’t think of anything! Mud up to our knees, we walked on the beach at low tide at got ourselves 3 dozens of delicious Tassie oysters.

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We took the ferry last night back to Melbourne and are leaving tomorrow morning. After saying our goodbye to Suzy, we drove to Blackwood for our last night in Aussie. We are a lucky bunch, we keep being grateful and feeling blessed for our lives. A million thank yous to everyone who took care of us Down Under. It is a special place for sure. Your hospitality has no limit, your hearts are as big as your country and we can’t wait to be back! Our thoughts are with all of you fighting the massive bush fires around the country.

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Half Empty Or Half Full?

Wow, we’re officially half way through our tour! How time flies when you’re having fun. We’ve put 4,500 kilometers on the car so far and have been playing almost every night. We are currently up in gorgeous little town called Bellingen, in New South Wales, a great artist community full of great people. Thanks Scott! We had a beautiful drive north yesterday from Newcastle complete with a stop at sweet little beach called South West Rocks. We arrived in the late afternoon and played up on top of the mountain in a little town called Dorrigo at the Food Angel Cafe. Thanks to the Resonator Brothers for opening the show and to all the nice folks for turning up! The day before we got the opportunity to play on ABC (Australain Broadcasting Corporation) on a great program hosted by another Scott. He was so hilarious as well as super knowledgeable about the music we make. We had a blast! Even if the station was in a modern shopping mall :)

So we left off a couple weeks back as we arrived in South Australia- We played a show in Christie Downs, located just south of Adelaide put on by Peter and Annie Thornton. They were amazing hosts and thanks to Pete for the tour of his accordions!
That Friday we had a night off and spent it in Adelaide with our friend Linda Bull. She’s been a long-time friend we know from Vancouver, BC and just happened to be visiting her brother in Adelaide. The world became extra small that night when we were sitting around having a session and it turned out that Linda’s brother and his wife were friends and had been housemates with our good friend Sarah McFadyen in Edinburgh, Scotland!! I love it!

Hanging out with Linda and her brother Stephen and his wife Lucy

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The next couple days we spent up in wine country outside of Clare Valley. Everyone from there will tell you the best wine in the world comes from there! We didn’t argue for a second and just grinned and nodded, and grinned and nodded more and more as the night went on glasses kept magically constantly remaining full! :) We’d like to thank Cherie for all her hard work at HATS, Inc. and her committment to building her community and to her husband Ivan as well. We felt lucky to be a part of your concert series and really enjoyed making a gumbo and playing for and with you all!

The old courthouse where we played in Auburn, SA
The stage in the Courthouse
Old sign

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Old school mailboxes

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View of the hill from our hosts Cherie and Ivan

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Sammy playing tunes with his new friends!

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We headed out early Monday morning back to Victoria out in the country near a town called Carisbrook to stay with our new friends Mark and Natalie Woods and their two boys. We met them at the Harrietville Convention our first weekend here. We had a great dinner and late night full of fun stories. The next day we got a chance to hike around their property and take in an incredible 360 degree view on a top of Bald Hill, and since Mark is an amazing sound engineer, we got to record for a few hours in his studio. Anyone making a record should seriously think about heading out there to record with Mark (http://au.myspace.com/markwoodsaudio) !

Here’s a few tracks recorded at Mark’s:

  Black Dog
  I Heard the Jukebox Playing

 

House made out of mud from the early 1900s

A really sweet couple Annette and Peter, another couple we met in Harrietville, invited us to stay with them if it made sense on our way to Nerrigundah in New South Wales. Turns out it did. They live in a little village called Numerella. We were fed amazingly and they took us to meet their friend Judy who lives alone on heaps ( uh oh! Aussie slang working its way in! ) of acres with her dog. Her drive way crosses a creek and there are a few of the old, original buildings still standing from when the property first was first cleared 150 years ago or so. Quite old for Australia!

Peter and Annette decided to come with us to the gig in Nerrigundah, a small village in the mountains near Bodalla. And are we ever glad they did. We followed their 4×4 truck in our little Hyundai over an amazing gravel mountain pass that took hours at maximum speed of 20 mph. It was such a cool route and actually a short cut, but something we would have never attempted on our own. It takes the help of locals to see these kinds of things. Thanks guys!

Our car made it through this dirt road. Note the sign! We were coming from the “4wd required” part of the road!

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We arrived in Nerrigundah in the late afternoon and visited with our hosts John and Pam. They are retired teachers who live right on the river and grow almost all of their food! What great folks, and living the dream I’d say. John is my new hero! They had spent some time in Minnesota and Canada too so it was great to share stories. It’s not every day we meet people who have been to places like the Gunflint Trail or Atlin, BC! John had us play in Nerrigundah as part of a concert series he puts on every 6 weeks or so. We played in a town hall for about 80 people (the village itself is only pop. 20!). It was one of the funnest shows we ever played. Thanks so much to those who came out! The next morning we went to visit a Kath, a friend’s (yep, who we met in Harrietville) aunt who lives on top of a mountain in Nerrigundah and owns 200 cattle or so, mostly beautiful, red devons. She spoiled us with tea and homemade scones and told us some neat stories of the land and about the old dances that used to go on there. What a great place.

Ripping on double fiddles!

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Cajun triangle breakdown!

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Amazing audience in the Nerrigundah Ag Bureau

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We eventually had to head out of the country for the weekend and play shows in Wollongong and Syndey with a cool band called the Butcher Boys. It turns out I had met one of the guys in the band years ago in Ireland and he claims Foghorn gave him the shot in the arm he needed to get into playing! Nice work boys! We finally got to hang out at the beach! I have the sun burn to prove it! It was however really great to finally meet Val McGarry, who helped us tremendously on this adventure, organizing work visas and booking a handful of shows. We had a great time hanging out with her for a few days! It was easy to forgot about it being winter back home when we were eating oysters and prawns and drinking sparkly by the beach. Thanks so much Val.

Beach time!

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Sammy and Val at the Warrawong beach

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Lake prawns and Oysters for lunch!

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Butchers Boys! Great singing! Check them out!

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While in Sydney we got the chance to catch up with Jacinta and Terry (yep, Harrietville). We played at Terry’s 60th birthday party at the Town and Country Hotel, where Terry and Jacenta host a Sunday song session called “Sinful Sundays” with their crew “Safety in Numbers”. It was an amazing afternoon. Thanks to Jacenta for selling all those CDs! We played later that night at the Cat and Fiddle to a really sweet crowd we stayed a night with Suzy and Hunter, great folks and great musicians! What great hospitality we’ve had. I hope we can someday return it and host them at our house!

On Tuesday we did a workshop at a public school in Parramatta that we really enjoyed. These kids were so curious and had great rhythm! At the end of the workshop we let them play our instruments and them just swarmed! I bet next time we come through there’ll be some new stringbands!

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Well, a stay in Sydney wouldn’t be complete without a few tourist activities so we met Jacenta after work and hit the famous Opera house and took the ferry around the bay and walked through the park and had a lovely dinner downtown. Thanks Jacinta!

In front of the Sydney Opera House

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In front of the Harbour Bridge

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Well, off to the swimming hole! More soon…

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Written in the car on Nov. 29

The thermometer in the car indicating the outside temperature just hit 40C (that’s 104F!) Our rental car, a Hyundai i2, is cute, cool inside and comfy. That’s a good thing because today we are driving 9 hours to Christie Downs, south of Adelaide to play the South Coast Folk Club. We are crossing to a new state, South Australia (it’s not that south, mostly central and more north than parts of the country) The landscape alternates between wheat fields, sheep piling on top of each other to get shade under the only tree around, road signs with funny names, road constructions, constant reminders to power nap, road signs for kangaroo crossings, squashed kangaroos on the side of the road, koala crossing, more wheat fields, quaint little villages. We have lots of time to reflect on our two weeks (wow, two weeks already!) in Australia!

Our view for most of the drive from Melbourne to Adelaide. 43°C heat!

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Starting the tour at the Harrietville Bluegrass Convention was ideal; we got to meet people from all over the country and get a chance to see them again! We handed out heaps of our tour flyers and have already seen many folks at our gigs who were at Harrietville. We left the little mountain village on the Tuesday after a well deserved rest on Monday. We drove straight to St Kilda, a really cool part of Melbourne where our Irish friend Suzy lives and works. It’s kinda the Plateau Mont Royal of Montreal or the West Bank of Minneapolis. You get the idea. Our new friends Ian and Linda took us to Claypots, a fantastic seafood restaurant where we got to meet Suzy, sporting a Foghorn t-shirt with her work apron, as she is the bartender extraordinaire of the establishment. We sat down for dinner and were not prepared at all for something nothing short of an epic meal! After almost a dozen of tiny appetizer plates, we made room on the table for a big cast iron wok looking thing filled with gigantic prawns floating in a garlic chili oil. Then we welcomed a mountain of crabs and mussels in lemongrass and sweet goodness. Thinking we were done, imagine our surprise when a blackened catfish, a grilled snapper and another good looking fish, accompanied with moroccan mussels couscous claypots showed up to our table! What a feast! We spent the rest of the night in the bar, chatting with Suze and looking at an endless Brigitte Bardot slideshow on the screen. Melbourne, you’re awesome!

We woke up the next morning a walked a good few miles to JB HiFi, an electronic store where we got a WiFi Broadband thingy, a little box providing us with internet everywhere we go! Handy little thing! We took the tram to the Northcote Social Club, a great venue in the north part of Melbourne. We got to play with the Beenies, af trio made up of Corrinn and Nicola Strating (whom we met in Louisiana at Blackpot 2009!!) and Kat. Went for a night cap at Claypots and got to see one of the craziest piano players we’d ever seen! Dino Baptiste, you channelled the old guys! Thanks for your music! We had the next day off and took it easy in St Kilda. Suzy brought us to one of her favorite breakfast spots. Well by that time, we’ll call it brunch. Her friends Owen and Chris met us. Hottest day so far, we had to switch tables to get a little shade! Lazy day, picked up ciders, played tunes in the afternoon, went for Thai food around the corner and watched a blues band at Dog Bar.

The Beenies singing like angels at the Northcote Social Club

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On Friday Nov. 23rd, we took a cab to the airport (no, no, we’re not leaving already!) to pick up our rental car. We thought we had the deal of the year by booking it online but of course once we got at the counter, we had to play extra charges: airport taxes, some other taxes, taxes on all these taxes… We then went grocery shopping and headed to Chris’, our house concert host that night. We cooked a big gumbo, did a fiddle and guitar workshop and played a concert. Thanks to Chris and the Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Society, we had a great evening! By the time we woke up the next morning, it was already super hot! We headed back to St. Kilda and walked to the beach. It was packed! Beach Barbies and Kens everywhere! We headed back and had happy hour Chez Suzy, much better! Played that night at the Lomond Hotel, in Brunswick with Andrew and Geoff Leblanc and Craig Woodward. Cajun night all night! Good times!

St Kilda Beach!

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We said goodbye to Suzy and St Kilda Sunday morning and drove to Blackwood, little village North and West of Melbourne. We arrived at the hall/church where the Academy Review was held and as we walked closer, we could hear the amazing sounds of shape note singing. Then we did a cajun workshop, Sammy taught the fiddle part to a couple songs and I got the whole place singing in Cajun French! Stephanie Coleman was still in town and played a great show with Ian Alexander and Nick and Lachlan Dear. We then played a few by ourselves and got quickly joined by the crew listed above. So much fun! After a great dinner at Blackwood Merchant, we headed back to the Dears for a late pickin’ session.

Stephanie Coleman playing with Ian Alexander, Nick and Lachlan Dear

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Sammy drinking AC/DC wine! Back in Black baby!

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Monday, a new week begins and a new region to discover: Gippsland; a large rural region in Victoria. It begins immediately east of the suburbs of Melbourne and stretches to the New South Wales border, lying between the Great Dividing Range watershed to the north and Bass Straight to the south. Our first stop there was Yinnar, home of the Strzelecki Stringbusters, a group of great guys playing bluegrass and old time music and bringing the whole community together for years now. We stayed with our hosts Ray and Nolene and got fed possibly the best BBQ lamb ever! We did a workshop on Monday night then watched a really good bad movie (you know the ones type!). Tuesday we got up early and headed to Briagolong, little community 100 kilometers from Yinnar. We bought groceries and prepared a gumbo for 100 people and then played a show in the Briagolong Hall, beautiful old building and great audiences.

Of all the things I was looking for on this trip, I think Wednesday was on top of the list! We had arranged to meet with Glen, a Stringbuster, who rescues little joeys and hurt kangaroos or wallabies. Glen walked in the door and handed me a fleeced pouch. Ecstatic, I looked inside and just about melted when I saw a little wallaby head peaking out! We drove back to his house and while Glen heated up some leftover gumbo from the night before, I got to feed the little joey. Glen then took us to Jean, an elderly lady who shelters baby wombats, joeys, owls, and various others baby animals. It was feeding time there too, so we gave her a hand feeding the joeys and wombats. SO AMAZING!!!

Feeding little joeys

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Later that night, we played at the Yinnar Hotel where almost 200 loyal enthusiasts gathered for dinner and concert. Huge thank yous to the Stringbusters for bringing people together through music. We finished the gig and sadly bid farewell to our Gippsland friends, hopped in the car and drove for 3 hours back to Melbourne, to get a head start for a drive the next morning to South Australia and to avoid the Melbourne morning traffic.

Well there you have it, our first 2 weeks in Australia! We’ll soon post about our next adventures!

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GOOD TIMES DOWN UNDER!

Nov. 18, 2012

Well here we are in Australia! We have been here for 5 days and already had such an amazing time! We got off the plane, jumped in a car and drove 4 hours North East from Melbourne to a little skiing village (no skiing these days, it’s almost summer here!) called Harrietville. Celebrating their 24th year, Harrietville Bluegrass Convention gathered heaps (see, we’re learning to speak Australian!) of national and international bands. We made so many friends and got to catch up with old friends, including Stephanie Coleman, Adam Hurt and Beth Hartness.

Sammy’s first kangaroo sighting was not a pretty one: roadkill in the middle of the road! But we keep our hopes up that we’ll see a healthy one skipping in a field in no time!

NORTH AND SOUTH

Oct. 25, 2012

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Hello there folks! We’ve just finished up an amazing little tour with our band with Jesse Lege, Joel Savoy, and Caleb Klauder called The Cajun Country Revival. We only get a chance to play a few times a year together so we soaked up every second we could with these guys, starting in Washington D.C. last Wednesday and ending up in Knoxville, TN. We had perfect weather, amazing scenery, complete with the fall colors at their peak and
visits with great friends along the way. We can’t wait to come back this way with The Foghorn Stringband in March!

We kicked off the month up in Vancouver, B.C. teaching a weekend-long workshop organized by Canada’s #1 fan of old time music, Linda Parke. Thank you Linda! In the summer of 2011 she held the first of these workshops led by Nadine and me at her family cabin in eastern BC on Lake Pavillion, a crystal clear lake nestled in the mountains there. We planned to return last summer but a fire destroyed much of her camp and we relocated Camp Pavillion to Frank Metcalf’s home in Vancouver. Thanks to Frank and Mary for hosting the workshop and to all of the enthusiastic musicians we got to hang out with. It wasn’t quite the same as being out in the boonies, but the spirit was there and we filled up with tunes and home cooking all weekend.

After Camp Pavillion, we took the ferry over to Vancouver Island for a few days off with our longtime pal Anne Louise Genest. Nadine has known and played music with Anne Louise for years so it was a nice reunion. I have been to BC and ridden those ferries many times but never was it so clear and nice. We played tunes the whole trip and met a whole lot of nice people.

After enjoying Canadian Thanksgiving feast #2 we drove down to Victoria and taught a workshop and played a house concert. Thanks to Kelly Sherwin for her last minute organizing and to the Victoria community for coming out!!

We spent our last night in BC back in Vancouver playing an amazing house concert. Our friends Jason and Pharis Romero happened to be in town so we got them to join us for a few at the end of the show. They know their fiddle tunes that’s for sure! We look forward to a Foghorn tour up there in April!

From there we flew to Edmonton, Alberta and met Caleb and Reeb and we all taught at Northern Bluegrass Circle Music Society. Caleb taught mandolin, I taught fiddle and the girls taught harmony singing. It was a great weekend full of pickin’ and super fun to get to hear and play a bunch with Matt Hotte again and to get to meet his family. Keep an eye out for his sister Kayla!

Now we are in Louisiana where we’ve been resting up and getting ready to go to the Blackpot Music Festival and Cookoff. This will be our fourth time being there and it’s always amazing. Music, food, and dancing! Couldn’t be better!

See you next week in California!

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Hey BC! We’re here and we have two shows in the next week in Victoria and Vancouver!

VICTORIA
Wednesday October 10th
Fiddle and guitar workshop from 6:30-8:30PM $25
Concert 9-10PM $10
Fernwood area
RSVP early, space is limited. Email hellostrangerproductions@gmail.com or call 250-886-7108

VANCOUVER
Thursday October 11th
House Concert at 8PM
$15
Kitsilano area
RSVP at landry.nadine (at) gmail.com

Then we will heading to Camp He Ho Ha in Alberta to teach the Northern Bluegrass Circle Music Camp with Foghorn Stringband!

Well hello there!

Welcome to our website! We are part of the Foghorn Stringband, but also play duo shows and collaborations with other people, so we thought it’d be nice to list all our whereabouts!

Coming up later this fall is our 2 month Australia tour. Be sure to check the schedule on where we’ll be down under.

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BACK TO WINTER!

Hi folks! Well after a couple of weeks back in the Northwest we find ourselves driving down Interstate 81 with Riley Baugus on the way to Knoxville, TN to play in the Dirk Powell band. These guys have been great friends and occasional bandmates for over a decade now and we always look forward to playing and hanging out together when we can. We will play on February 8 in Knoxville and the 9th in Boone, NC.

We will then head back to the Midwest to start a tour with the Foghorn Stringband .

We’ve spent the last two weeks there with family, skiing, hanging out with The Cactus Blossoms and even got to play a square dance with my dad on mandolin, my brother Eric on banjo and Adam Kiesling on bass! We’re so excited to come back to Minneapolis at the end of the month.

FAREWELL UNTIL NEXT TIME

January 8

I just spent my first ever snowless Christmas! I didn’t see snowmen with carrot noses and coal eyes, I didn’t have to wear 6 layers of clothing to go outside nor scratched the ice build-up on the window sills. But we did eat turkey and ham and stuffed ourselves like the Christmases I’m used to! We did spend the holidays surrounded by friends we love, the clinging of the glasses lost in the sound of laughter.

The odometer of the car now proudly displays over 10 000 kms. Australia is huge and its people are amazing!

When we left off in the last blog, we were in Bellingen with our friends Scott and Jay and their boys Ilo and Po. They took us to a swimming hole for the afternoon before our gig at 5 Church Street. Thanks to the whole staff for a great gig and to Jay for the great photos! Before we left for Brisbane, we got a chance to see Scott’s band Midnorth play at the massive market on Saturday morning.

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Request for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!

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Brisbane Music Bureau held its concert at the Bowling Club! So hilarious that Bowling seems to be super popular amongst the younger crowd! Thanks to The Company for offering support and congrats on your new record!

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The next day, we drove a few hours south to Barkers Vale, a tiny little village in the north of New South Wales. I had been in touch with Gareth, who had invited us on the family property for workshops, dinner and concert. Turned out to be an amazing day! After a fiddle and harmony workshops with really nice folks, a crowded started coming from the main entrance, 200 in total. We got to eat a vegetarian jambalaya, green salad and roasted potatoes beautifully cooked by Gareth’s mom and all originating from the massive 5 acre garden. Then people sat on hay bales and rugs around the outside improvised stage consisting of an old caravan, a trapeze and a white canvas with yellow stars on the ground. The Pitts Family Circus (aka Gareth and his family) started the show with hilarious antics, contortionist, trapeze artists, it was amazing! Then Ruthie-ma-Toothie and the Barkersvale Brothers played and we finished the show! Thanks everyone for a great day and night!

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Then we really treated ourselves!! We rented a little cabin just south of Byron Bay in Suffolk Park just a few streets from the beach. We spent three days going to the beach, cooked good food, relaxed, it was well needed and exactly what the doctor ordered.

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After our rest, we headed to Lismore to play the Hillbilly Christmas party with Ruthie-ma-Toothie and the Barkers Vale Brothers at the Bowling Club! Great evening. Here’s a little story from that night:

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“I sold my cowboy boots tonight. A lady walked up to me and asked very shyly where I had gotten my boots. I told her in the States. She revealed that she had been looking for that kind of boots for a long time but couldn’t find them anywhere. Thinking fast on how I had just gotten those boots recently and how I liked them, I also admitted to myself that, despite my desire and hope that they would be fitting like slippers soon, the boots would hurt forever. The top of my foot will never stop from getting numb, ever. So I told the lady I’d sell them to her. Her face brightened and she asked to make sure I was serious. By that time, I was 100% sure I wanted to sell them to her. When I inquired about her shoe size, I got pleasantly surprised to hear it was the same as me. We improvised a little try on session and yes, they fit her. She went to the ATM machine, I exchanged my footwear for bills and she hugged me and thanked me and then held the boots in her arms for the rest of the night, probably cursing herself for wearing cute shoes with no socks, therefore not being able to wear the boots right away. Diane, I sure hope they fit you! I hope you go dancing and give them a good life.”

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Our travels continued, a long 10 hour drive to Sydney to visit our friends Jacinta and Terry. We went to see a show, Spurs for Jesus, then went back to their house and had a nice jam with Oh Willy Dear! Next day was a workshop and a concert in Thirroul at the Railway Hall. We got to see Shiny Top Strings and The Butcher Boys, good times! That was December 22nd and we officially started our Christmas Holidays! Nothing like a 10 hour drive to start off, direction Melbourne to see our friends Ian and Linda. Good times catching up since we had not seen them in almost a month! Next night, a surprise gig at Claypots with special guest Craig. Random drunk Christmas orphans came and went, danced a little and hollered, really fun night! Stayed late at Claypots for a night cap and a video chat with Suzy’s family in Ireland. Even danced and sang to “Be Nobody’s Darling But Mine”, kindly requested by Brendan Sr! Christmas morning, we slept in late, then went to Chris’ for brunch and bubbly then on to the next party. Great food and company!

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We left Suzy the next day with the promise she would come visit us in Blackwood! Got there and yes, it was happiness. I cooked on the woodstove the next few days (a Rayburn stove, a wood stove that heats the stove top, oven and the water that goes in the radiators around the house. Perfect, but kind of hard to regulate the heat with its several valves and openings and what not, but a few more weeks I would have mastered it I’m sure! The sticky date pudding turned out great, even though it cooked for 2 more hours than the recipe called for!) So we cooked a storm, played tunes, ate some more, went hiking, went fishing, Sammy even went kangaroo hunting, bringing some meat back for New Year’s party! A friend made a delicious curry and I made my aunt Rolande’s Tataki sauce on the thinly sliced seared roo. What a feast! Suzy did come visit, great to see the lassie out of the city! Thanks to Nick, Janet, Lachlan, Nicola and the whole Blackwood crew for opening their arms, doors and kitchen to us!

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All good things come to an end, but in our case it always mean more good things ahead. We packed the car and headed to the Melbourne ferry terminal direction Tasmania. Yep, here we are in this island off Australia, cooking gumbo and doing house concerts, meeting new friends and even seeing an old Yukon friend! Thanks to Roger for organizing a few gigs for us. We spent our last night in Port Sorell with new friends Cathy and David, transplants from Tennessee and Montana respectively. They took us to the beach after dusk to see penguins! The moms or dads (they take turn!) get on the shore and into the bushes to feed their babies (babies stay in the bushes, sleep all day until they are big enough). The parents gorge themselves all day then get attacked by their kids, climbing into their parents’ mouth to get the food. It was hilarious, the bushes were screaming and moving!!! The next day, what better to do than getting our own oysters for lunch? Can’t think of anything! Mud up to our knees, we walked on the beach at low tide at got ourselves 3 dozens of delicious Tassie oysters.

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We took the ferry last night back to Melbourne and are leaving tomorrow morning. After saying our goodbye to Suzy, we drove to Blackwood for our last night in Aussie. We are a lucky bunch, we keep being grateful and feeling blessed for our lives. A million thank yous to everyone who took care of us Down Under. It is a special place for sure. Your hospitality has no limit, your hearts are as big as your country and we can’t wait to be back! Our thoughts are with all of you fighting the massive bush fires around the country.

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Half Empty Or Half Full?

Wow, we’re officially half way through our tour! How time flies when you’re having fun. We’ve put 4,500 kilometers on the car so far and have been playing almost every night. We are currently up in gorgeous little town called Bellingen, in New South Wales, a great artist community full of great people. Thanks Scott! We had a beautiful drive north yesterday from Newcastle complete with a stop at sweet little beach called South West Rocks. We arrived in the late afternoon and played up on top of the mountain in a little town called Dorrigo at the Food Angel Cafe. Thanks to the Resonator Brothers for opening the show and to all the nice folks for turning up! The day before we got the opportunity to play on ABC (Australain Broadcasting Corporation) on a great program hosted by another Scott. He was so hilarious as well as super knowledgeable about the music we make. We had a blast! Even if the station was in a modern shopping mall :)

So we left off a couple weeks back as we arrived in South Australia- We played a show in Christie Downs, located just south of Adelaide put on by Peter and Annie Thornton. They were amazing hosts and thanks to Pete for the tour of his accordions!
That Friday we had a night off and spent it in Adelaide with our friend Linda Bull. She’s been a long-time friend we know from Vancouver, BC and just happened to be visiting her brother in Adelaide. The world became extra small that night when we were sitting around having a session and it turned out that Linda’s brother and his wife were friends and had been housemates with our good friend Sarah McFadyen in Edinburgh, Scotland!! I love it!

Hanging out with Linda and her brother Stephen and his wife Lucy

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The next couple days we spent up in wine country outside of Clare Valley. Everyone from there will tell you the best wine in the world comes from there! We didn’t argue for a second and just grinned and nodded, and grinned and nodded more and more as the night went on glasses kept magically constantly remaining full! :) We’d like to thank Cherie for all her hard work at HATS, Inc. and her committment to building her community and to her husband Ivan as well. We felt lucky to be a part of your concert series and really enjoyed making a gumbo and playing for and with you all!

The old courthouse where we played in Auburn, SA

The stage in the Courthouse

Old sign

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Old school mailboxes

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View of the hill from our hosts Cherie and Ivan

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Sammy playing tunes with his new friends!

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We headed out early Monday morning back to Victoria out in the country near a town called Carisbrook to stay with our new friends Mark and Natalie Woods and their two boys. We met them at the Harrietville Convention our first weekend here. We had a great dinner and late night full of fun stories. The next day we got a chance to hike around their property and take in an incredible 360 degree view on a top of Bald Hill, and since Mark is an amazing sound engineer, we got to record for a few hours in his studio. Anyone making a record should seriously think about heading out there to record with Mark (http://au.myspace.com/markwoodsaudio) !

Here’s a few tracks recorded at Mark’s:

  Black Dog
  I Heard the Jukebox Playing


House made out of mud from the early 1900s

A really sweet couple Annette and Peter, another couple we met in Harrietville, invited us to stay with them if it made sense on our way to Nerrigundah in New South Wales. Turns out it did. They live in a little village called Numerella. We were fed amazingly and they took us to meet their friend Judy who lives alone on heaps ( uh oh! Aussie slang working its way in! ) of acres with her dog. Her drive way crosses a creek and there are a few of the old, original buildings still standing from when the property first was first cleared 150 years ago or so. Quite old for Australia!

Peter and Annette decided to come with us to the gig in Nerrigundah, a small village in the mountains near Bodalla. And are we ever glad they did. We followed their 4×4 truck in our little Hyundai over an amazing gravel mountain pass that took hours at maximum speed of 20 mph. It was such a cool route and actually a short cut, but something we would have never attempted on our own. It takes the help of locals to see these kinds of things. Thanks guys!

Our car made it through this dirt road. Note the sign! We were coming from the “4wd required” part of the road!

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We arrived in Nerrigundah in the late afternoon and visited with our hosts John and Pam. They are retired teachers who live right on the river and grow almost all of their food! What great folks, and living the dream I’d say. John is my new hero! They had spent some time in Minnesota and Canada too so it was great to share stories. It’s not every day we meet people who have been to places like the Gunflint Trail or Atlin, BC! John had us play in Nerrigundah as part of a concert series he puts on every 6 weeks or so. We played in a town hall for about 80 people (the village itself is only pop. 20!). It was one of the funnest shows we ever played. Thanks so much to those who came out! The next morning we went to visit a Kath, a friend’s (yep, who we met in Harrietville) aunt who lives on top of a mountain in Nerrigundah and owns 200 cattle or so, mostly beautiful, red devons. She spoiled us with tea and homemade scones and told us some neat stories of the land and about the old dances that used to go on there. What a great place.

Ripping on double fiddles!

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Cajun triangle breakdown!

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Amazing audience in the Nerrigundah Ag Bureau

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We eventually had to head out of the country for the weekend and play shows in Wollongong and Syndey with a cool band called the Butcher Boys. It turns out I had met one of the guys in the band years ago in Ireland and he claims Foghorn gave him the shot in the arm he needed to get into playing! Nice work boys! We finally got to hang out at the beach! I have the sun burn to prove it! It was however really great to finally meet Val McGarry, who helped us tremendously on this adventure, organizing work visas and booking a handful of shows. We had a great time hanging out with her for a few days! It was easy to forgot about it being winter back home when we were eating oysters and prawns and drinking sparkly by the beach. Thanks so much Val.

Beach time!

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Sammy and Val at the Warrawong beach

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Lake prawns and Oysters for lunch!

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Butchers Boys! Great singing! Check them out!

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While in Sydney we got the chance to catch up with Jacinta and Terry (yep, Harrietville). We played at Terry’s 60th birthday party at the Town and Country Hotel, where Terry and Jacenta host a Sunday song session called “Sinful Sundays” with their crew “Safety in Numbers”. It was an amazing afternoon. Thanks to Jacenta for selling all those CDs! We played later that night at the Cat and Fiddle to a really sweet crowd we stayed a night with Suzy and Hunter, great folks and great musicians! What great hospitality we’ve had. I hope we can someday return it and host them at our house!

On Tuesday we did a workshop at a public school in Parramatta that we really enjoyed. These kids were so curious and had great rhythm! At the end of the workshop we let them play our instruments and them just swarmed! I bet next time we come through there’ll be some new stringbands!

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Well, a stay in Sydney wouldn’t be complete without a few tourist activities so we met Jacenta after work and hit the famous Opera house and took the ferry around the bay and walked through the park and had a lovely dinner downtown. Thanks Jacinta!

In front of the Sydney Opera House

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In front of the Harbour Bridge

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Well, off to the swimming hole! More soon…

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Written in the car on Nov. 29

The thermometer in the car indicating the outside temperature just hit 40C (that’s 104F!) Our rental car, a Hyundai i2, is cute, cool inside and comfy. That’s a good thing because today we are driving 9 hours to Christie Downs, south of Adelaide to play the South Coast Folk Club. We are crossing to a new state, South Australia (it’s not that south, mostly central and more north than parts of the country) The landscape alternates between wheat fields, sheep piling on top of each other to get shade under the only tree around, road signs with funny names, road constructions, constant reminders to power nap, road signs for kangaroo crossings, squashed kangaroos on the side of the road, koala crossing, more wheat fields, quaint little villages. We have lots of time to reflect on our two weeks (wow, two weeks already!) in Australia!

Our view for most of the drive from Melbourne to Adelaide. 43°C heat!

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Starting the tour at the Harrietville Bluegrass Convention was ideal; we got to meet people from all over the country and get a chance to see them again! We handed out heaps of our tour flyers and have already seen many folks at our gigs who were at Harrietville. We left the little mountain village on the Tuesday after a well deserved rest on Monday. We drove straight to St Kilda, a really cool part of Melbourne where our Irish friend Suzy lives and works. It’s kinda the Plateau Mont Royal of Montreal or the West Bank of Minneapolis. You get the idea. Our new friends Ian and Linda took us to Claypots, a fantastic seafood restaurant where we got to meet Suzy, sporting a Foghorn t-shirt with her work apron, as she is the bartender extraordinaire of the establishment. We sat down for dinner and were not prepared at all for something nothing short of an epic meal! After almost a dozen of tiny appetizer plates, we made room on the table for a big cast iron wok looking thing filled with gigantic prawns floating in a garlic chili oil. Then we welcomed a mountain of crabs and mussels in lemongrass and sweet goodness. Thinking we were done, imagine our surprise when a blackened catfish, a grilled snapper and another good looking fish, accompanied with moroccan mussels couscous claypots showed up to our table! What a feast! We spent the rest of the night in the bar, chatting with Suze and looking at an endless Brigitte Bardot slideshow on the screen. Melbourne, you’re awesome!

We woke up the next morning a walked a good few miles to JB HiFi, an electronic store where we got a WiFi Broadband thingy, a little box providing us with internet everywhere we go! Handy little thing! We took the tram to the Northcote Social Club, a great venue in the north part of Melbourne. We got to play with the Beenies, af trio made up of Corrinn and Nicola Strating (whom we met in Louisiana at Blackpot 2009!!) and Kat. Went for a night cap at Claypots and got to see one of the craziest piano players we’d ever seen! Dino Baptiste, you channelled the old guys! Thanks for your music! We had the next day off and took it easy in St Kilda. Suzy brought us to one of her favorite breakfast spots. Well by that time, we’ll call it brunch. Her friends Owen and Chris met us. Hottest day so far, we had to switch tables to get a little shade! Lazy day, picked up ciders, played tunes in the afternoon, went for Thai food around the corner and watched a blues band at Dog Bar.

The Beenies singing like angels at the Northcote Social Club

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On Friday Nov. 23rd, we took a cab to the airport (no, no, we’re not leaving already!) to pick up our rental car. We thought we had the deal of the year by booking it online but of course once we got at the counter, we had to play extra charges: airport taxes, some other taxes, taxes on all these taxes… We then went grocery shopping and headed to Chris’, our house concert host that night. We cooked a big gumbo, did a fiddle and guitar workshop and played a concert. Thanks to Chris and the Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Society, we had a great evening! By the time we woke up the next morning, it was already super hot! We headed back to St. Kilda and walked to the beach. It was packed! Beach Barbies and Kens everywhere! We headed back and had happy hour Chez Suzy, much better! Played that night at the Lomond Hotel, in Brunswick with Andrew and Geoff Leblanc and Craig Woodward. Cajun night all night! Good times!

St Kilda Beach!

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We said goodbye to Suzy and St Kilda Sunday morning and drove to Blackwood, little village North and West of Melbourne. We arrived at the hall/church where the Academy Review was held and as we walked closer, we could hear the amazing sounds of shape note singing. Then we did a cajun workshop, Sammy taught the fiddle part to a couple songs and I got the whole place singing in Cajun French! Stephanie Coleman was still in town and played a great show with Ian Alexander and Nick and Lachlan Dear. We then played a few by ourselves and got quickly joined by the crew listed above. So much fun! After a great dinner at Blackwood Merchant, we headed back to the Dears for a late pickin’ session.

Stephanie Coleman playing with Ian Alexander, Nick and Lachlan Dear

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Sammy drinking AC/DC wine! Back in Black baby!

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Monday, a new week begins and a new region to discover: Gippsland; a large rural region in Victoria. It begins immediately east of the suburbs of Melbourne and stretches to the New South Wales border, lying between the Great Dividing Range watershed to the north and Bass Straight to the south. Our first stop there was Yinnar, home of the Strzelecki Stringbusters, a group of great guys playing bluegrass and old time music and bringing the whole community together for years now. We stayed with our hosts Ray and Nolene and got fed possibly the best BBQ lamb ever! We did a workshop on Monday night then watched a really good bad movie (you know the ones type!). Tuesday we got up early and headed to Briagolong, little community 100 kilometers from Yinnar. We bought groceries and prepared a gumbo for 100 people and then played a show in the Briagolong Hall, beautiful old building and great audiences.

Of all the things I was looking for on this trip, I think Wednesday was on top of the list! We had arranged to meet with Glen, a Stringbuster, who rescues little joeys and hurt kangaroos or wallabies. Glen walked in the door and handed me a fleeced pouch. Ecstatic, I looked inside and just about melted when I saw a little wallaby head peaking out! We drove back to his house and while Glen heated up some leftover gumbo from the night before, I got to feed the little joey. Glen then took us to Jean, an elderly lady who shelters baby wombats, joeys, owls, and various others baby animals. It was feeding time there too, so we gave her a hand feeding the joeys and wombats. SO AMAZING!!!

Feeding little joeys

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Later that night, we played at the Yinnar Hotel where almost 200 loyal enthusiasts gathered for dinner and concert. Huge thank yous to the Stringbusters for bringing people together through music. We finished the gig and sadly bid farewell to our Gippsland friends, hopped in the car and drove for 3 hours back to Melbourne, to get a head start for a drive the next morning to South Australia and to avoid the Melbourne morning traffic.

Well there you have it, our first 2 weeks in Australia! We’ll soon post about our next adventures!

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GOOD TIMES DOWN UNDER!

Nov. 18, 2012

Well here we are in Australia! We have been here for 5 days and already had such an amazing time! We got off the plane, jumped in a car and drove 4 hours North East from Melbourne to a little skiing village (no skiing these days, it’s almost summer here!) called Harrietville. Celebrating their 24th year, Harrietville Bluegrass Convention gathered heaps (see, we’re learning to speak Australian!) of national and international bands. We made so many friends and got to catch up with old friends, including Stephanie Coleman, Adam Hurt and Beth Hartness.

Sammy’s first kangaroo sighting was not a pretty one: roadkill in the middle of the road! But we keep our hopes up that we’ll see a healthy one skipping in a field in no time!

NORTH AND SOUTH

Oct. 25, 2012

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Hello there folks! We’ve just finished up an amazing little tour with our band with Jesse Lege, Joel Savoy, and Caleb Klauder called The Cajun Country Revival. We only get a chance to play a few times a year together so we soaked up every second we could with these guys, starting in Washington D.C. last Wednesday and ending up in Knoxville, TN. We had perfect weather, amazing scenery, complete with the fall colors at their peak and
visits with great friends along the way. We can’t wait to come back this way with The Foghorn Stringband in March!

We kicked off the month up in Vancouver, B.C. teaching a weekend-long workshop organized by Canada’s #1 fan of old time music, Linda Parke. Thank you Linda! In the summer of 2011 she held the first of these workshops led by Nadine and me at her family cabin in eastern BC on Lake Pavillion, a crystal clear lake nestled in the mountains there. We planned to return last summer but a fire destroyed much of her camp and we relocated Camp Pavillion to Frank Metcalf’s home in Vancouver. Thanks to Frank and Mary for hosting the workshop and to all of the enthusiastic musicians we got to hang out with. It wasn’t quite the same as being out in the boonies, but the spirit was there and we filled up with tunes and home cooking all weekend.

After Camp Pavillion, we took the ferry over to Vancouver Island for a few days off with our longtime pal Anne Louise Genest. Nadine has known and played music with Anne Louise for years so it was a nice reunion. I have been to BC and ridden those ferries many times but never was it so clear and nice. We played tunes the whole trip and met a whole lot of nice people.

After enjoying Canadian Thanksgiving feast #2 we drove down to Victoria and taught a workshop and played a house concert. Thanks to Kelly Sherwin for her last minute organizing and to the Victoria community for coming out!!

We spent our last night in BC back in Vancouver playing an amazing house concert. Our friends Jason and Pharis Romero happened to be in town so we got them to join us for a few at the end of the show. They know their fiddle tunes that’s for sure! We look forward to a Foghorn tour up there in April!

From there we flew to Edmonton, Alberta and met Caleb and Reeb and we all taught at Northern Bluegrass Circle Music Society. Caleb taught mandolin, I taught fiddle and the girls taught harmony singing. It was a great weekend full of pickin’ and super fun to get to hear and play a bunch with Matt Hotte again and to get to meet his family. Keep an eye out for his sister Kayla!

Now we are in Louisiana where we’ve been resting up and getting ready to go to the Blackpot Music Festival and Cookoff. This will be our fourth time being there and it’s always amazing. Music, food, and dancing! Couldn’t be better!

See you next week in California!

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Hey BC! We’re here and we have two shows in the next week in Victoria and Vancouver!

VICTORIA
Wednesday October 10th
Fiddle and guitar workshop from 6:30-8:30PM $25
Concert 9-10PM $10
Fernwood area
RSVP early, space is limited. Email hellostrangerproductions@gmail.com or call 250-886-7108

VANCOUVER
Thursday October 11th
House Concert at 8PM
$15
Kitsilano area
RSVP at landry.nadine (at) gmail.com

Then we will heading to Camp He Ho Ha in Alberta to teach the Northern Bluegrass Circle Music Camp with Foghorn Stringband!

Well hello there!

Welcome to our website! We are part of the Foghorn Stringband, but also play duo shows and collaborations with other people, so we thought it’d be nice to list all our whereabouts!

Coming up later this fall is our 2 month Australia tour. Be sure to check the schedule on where we’ll be down under.

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